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Full Workout Logs

Starting 4/8/07
Basic Cycle; Weeks 1-5 of 9

by Gary F. Zeolla

These workout logs are continued from Full Workout Logs: Starting 3/7/07: Weeks 1-3.

Next contest:
IPA PA States, September 22, in New Castle, PA.
114s or 123s, master (45-49), raw division.

For details on this routine, see Training Routine Format - Basic Cycle.

Warm-ups are in brackets. All weights are in pounds. Format: pounds/reps.
Workout time includes set-up, warm-up, lifting, stretching, and clean-up.

Week One

Squats, Week 1 of 9

Easter Sunday – 4/8/07

Squats: [55/15, 145/8, 205/6, 260/3] 290/6, 290/6

Reverse Band Squats (#4, average bands): [195/6, 280/4] 310/6, 310/6

Speed RB Squats: 195/6, 195/6, 195/6

Bicycle Abs (reps to each side): 20, 20

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:24

Most everyone in my extended family is sick, so our Easter get-together was canceled. This left me with noting to do on Easter. I might have gone for a walk if the weather wasn’t so terrible. It was warmer back on Christmas Day than on Easter this year! But as it was, I figured I might as well workout and make up for my missed workouts last week.

My workout went okay, but I was really dragging afterwards and this morning. I hope it wasn’t a mistake. My body is probably still fighting the flu virus in me. But other than being tired, I feel okay otherwise.

The pic is the set-up for my reverse bands using my new average (#4) bands. I got these on sale at APT.


Benches, Week 1 of 9

Tuesday – 4/10/07

Benches: [55/15, 95/10, 115/6, 135/3] 152/6, 152/6

Reverse Band Benches (#3, light bands): [115/6, 150/3] 170/6, 175/6

Speed RB Benches: 115/6, 125/6, 130/6

Lat. Pulldowns (wide grip): [45/8, 70/4] 85/8, 85/8

DB Curls: [20s/8] 27s/7, 27s/6

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:27

It was with this workout that I decided to enter IPA PA States, September 22, in New Castle, PA. But now that I know what contest I am entering, I needed to change the routine I was using. Counting the weeks, I should get in 17 training weeks before the contest. So I am dividing this into two parts: an 8-week “off-season” then a 9-week “in-season.” I am starting the count with my squat workout on Easter Sunday.

As for this workout, I am still dragging some from having had the flu. So my workout pace was a little slow, but otherwise, it went well.


Deadlifts, Week 1 of 9

Thursday – 4/12/07

Deadlifts: [55/15, 145/10, 205/6, 265/3] 295/6, 295/6

Chain DLs (set-up weighs 90 pounds): [145/6, 175/3] 195/6, 195/6

Speed Chain DLs: 145/5, 145/5

Dip Bar Leg Raises: 15, 12

Stretching: ~ 10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:17

This was the first workout in two weeks that I didn’t feel “flu-ish.” But I still dropped the weights and reps down some to be sure. Next week, I should be able to get back into harder training.



Bench Assistance, Week 1 of 9

Saturday – 4/14/07

Incline Bench: [45/15, 75/10, 95/6, 115/3] 130/6, 130/6

DB Presses: [10s/8, 20s/4] 27s/8, 27s/8

DB Rows (elbows out): [30/8, 42/4], 52/8, 52/8

Reverse DB Curls: [20s/8] 27s/8, 27s/8

Rotator Cuff (2 exercises) [5/10] 7.5/12, 7.5/12

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:22

This was the first time in a few weeks since I did rotator cuff work. With changing my routine around some, I wasn’t sure where to fit it in at. And frankly, it doesn’t seem like rotator cuff work does anything. But I’m afraid if I don’t do it and end up with a rotator cuff injury, then I’ll be kicking myself. So I guess I can fit it on this day.

Week Two


Squats, Week 2 of 9/ Another briefs question

Monday – 4/16/07

Squats: [55/15, 145/8, 210/6, 270/3] 300/6, 300/6

Low Squats: [145/6, 185/3] 205/6, 215/6

Jump Squats: [45/6] 75/6, 75/6

Twisting Sit-ups (reps to each side): 12, 10

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:21

The squat work sets were both 10 pound PRs for 6 rep, raw. So squats are going well.

I wasted some time trying out briefs after my squat work. My thought was that I would need to put some weight on my back to get down below parallel, but I was able to easily free squat all the way down with my Titan single-ply briefs and with my Franz double-ply briefs. So I was wondering, is this normal for briefs? It seemed like neither was doing much of anything. So I’m thinking I might have to get some new briefs. Maybe these are not fitting tight enough.

[The response I got to this question was that Titan Boss briefs were the best. But the poster was not sure how these compare to Inzer Predators. The former costs $160 and the latter $155. So both are rather pricy but probably better than the $50 briefs I have. But no matter as it was at this point that I decided for sure that I would be going raw for my next contest and the foreseeable future. For details, see Powerlifting Gear, Federation, and Contest Struggles and Decisions.]


Benches, Week 2 of 9

Wednesday – 4/18/07

Benches: [55/15, 95/10, 120/6, 140/3] 155/6, 155/6

DB Benches: [35s/6, 45s/3] 52s/6, 52s/6

Clap Push-ups: 6 x 2

Lat. Pulldowns (“V” grip): [45/8, 70/4] 85/10, 85/10

Curl Bar Curls: [40/8] 55/8, 55/8

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:15

With this workout, I made a minor change in my workout plans. I’m going to make this routine my first cycle and add a week making this a nine-week cycle. For the last week I’ll perform a “practice contest” for each lift of doing three singles. That will give me an idea where I am at the halfway point between when I started lifting again after recovering from the flu and my contest. I’ll then run another 8 week cycle to peak for the contest.


Deadlifts, Week 2 of 9

Friday – 4/20/07

Deadlifts: [55/15, 145/10, 210/6, 275/3] 305/6, 305/6

SLDLs: [165/6, 220/3] 245/6, 245/6

Jump Deadlifts: [45/6] 75/6, 75/6

Crunch/ Reverse Crunch Combo: 10/25, 10/20

Stretching: ~ 10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:14

Strangely, on Monday I squatted 300/6x2. Here I pulled 305/6x2. With lifting raw, I would think I’d deadlift much more than I would squat. So I’m not sure if this means squats are going very well or that DLs are going poorly. I’m, or course, hoping it is the former. But I won’t know for sure until I drop down to lower reps in a couple of weeks.


Bench Assistance, Week 2 of 9

Monday – 4/23/07

Standing Overhead Press: [DBs: 10s/15, BB: 45/10, 60/6, 70/3] 75/6, 75/6

DB Incline Bench: [30s/6, 40s/4] 45s/6, 45s/6

DB Rows (underhand grip): [25s/8, 35s/4], 40s/6, 40s/6

Reverse BB Curls: 47/10, 47/10

Rotator Cuff (2 exercises): [7.5/10] 10/10, 10/10

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:13

I was dragging, so I didn’t increase the weights from last time, and that made for an easy workout.

Week Three

Squats, Week 3 of 9

Wednesday – 4/25/07

Squats: [55/15, 145/8, 210/6, 275/3] 305/6, 305/5

Reverse Band Squats (#4, average bands): [205/6, 290/4] 325/6, 325/6

Speed RB Squats: [195/6] 215/6, 215/6

Bicycle Abs (reps to each side): 30, 20

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:32

I was tired from doing some “spring cleaning.” So that’s probably why I missed my last rep on squats and the workout took a little too long. But still, not a bad workout.


Benches, Week 3 of 9

Monday – 4/30/07

Benches: [55/15, 95/10, 125/6, 145/3] 157/6, 157/5

Reverse Band Benches (#3, light bands): [125/6, 160/3] 180/6, 180/6

Speed RB Benches: 130/6, 130/6

Lat. Pulldowns (wide grip): [45/8, 70/4] 85/10, 85/10

DB Curls: [20s/8] 25s/10, 25s/10

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:25

I wasn’t feeling good on Friday, so I took the day off and moved this workout to Monday. And it went well.


Deadlifts, Week 3 of 9

Wednesday – 5/2/07

Deadlifts: [55/15, 145/10, 215/6, 280/3] 310/6, 310/6

Chain DLs (set-up weighs 90 pounds): [145/6, 80/3] 205/6, 205/6

Speed Chain DLs: 145/6, 145/6

Dip Bar Leg Raises: 16, 13

Stretching: ~ 10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:17

I felt very good for this workout; the best I have felt in a while.


Bench Assistance, Week 3 of 9

Friday – 5/4/07

Incline Bench: [45/15, 75/10, 100/6, 120/3] 135/6, 135/6

DB Presses: [10s/8, 25s/3] 30s/6, 30s/6

DB Rows (elbows out): [30/8, 45/3], 55/6, 55/6

Reverse DB Curls: [20s/8] 27s/7, 27s/7

Rotator Cuff (2 exercises) [7.5/10] 10/10, 10/10

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:10

Felt very good again for this workout, that’s probably why I got done so quickly. This is the end of the first third of my cycle. Next week I drop down to somewhat lower reps. I’m looking forward to it!

Week Four

Squats, My first videos/ Judging please!

Week 4 of 9

Monday – 5/7/07

Squats: [55/15, 145/8, 215/6, 285/3] 315/4, 305/4

Pause Squats: [145/6, 210/3] 235/6, 235/6

Jump Squats: [45/6] 80/4x3

Twisting Sit-ups (reps to each side): 12, 10

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:20

I just got a Logitech QuickCam, so this was my first attempt at using a WebCam. Installing it on my desktop PC was no problem, but what proved difficult was setting it up to record my workouts. I had to daisy-chain two USB extension cables to run the camera from my home office where my PC is located into my workout area, along with another extension cable for the microphone. I already have to run an extension cable for my speakers. So now I had three cables running across the floor.

Then to get the camera positioned properly, I had to go back and forth from my workout area and my office, and then during my workout, I had to go back and forth to start and stop the camera. Needless to say, this was all tiring and very distracting.

But after all that, where the real problem came in was when I watched the video of my first work set on squats. The reps all looked very high to me!

Let me say, I feel like I’m sinking my squats as low as I have been since I started powerlifting again. And with one exception, I’ve had no problems getting my squats passed at the IPA, APF, and WNPF contests I have entered. But still, it bothered me, so I dropped the weight for my second set so I could sink it more. And I felt like I was, but when I viewed the video, it looked the same! So now I’m really confused.

All that said, follow the links below to view the videos. Are these squats really as high as they look to me? Any comments would be much appreciated. I know the quality is not the greatest, but what do you want for the $15 I paid for the QuickCam?

Video 1

Video 2

Incidentally, the music for the first video is Audio Adrenaline, and for the second Barren Cross, both Christian groups. I put the microphone right in front of a speaker, so the music came through very well.

Note: The comments I received were that these squats definitely looked high. So although they would probably pass in an IPA contest, I still don’t want to be known as a high squatter. So to be sure I am hitting true legal depth, I am planning on squatting touch ‘n go off of a box. To check my depth with my current box, I took a quick video using my digital camera. The responses I received were that this depth would pass anywhere. Video.


Benches, Week 4 of 9/ Videos figured out

Wednesday – 5/9/07

Benches: [55/15, 95/10, 125/6, 145/3] 162/4, 165/4

DB Benches: [35s/6, 47s/3] 57s/6, 57s/6

Clap Push-ups: 7 x 2

Lat. Pulldowns (“V” grip): [45/8, 75/3] 90/10, 90/10

Curl Bar Curls: [40/8] 55/8, 55/8

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:17

I figured out how I’m going to do my videos. I’m taking them with my digital camera. It is much easier to use than the QuickCam, and the quality is much better. But the .MOV file size it records in is too large. So I downloaded Videozilla, a .MOV to .WMV converter. So that will work.

But I’m really kicking myself. I got this digital camera for Christmas 2005, so I could have been taking videos for the last 1-1/2 years! But I never bothered to try the video function and forgot about it until his week. But with as easy as this is, I’ll probably take a lot more videos not just for this forum but for my Web site. I’d like to add some videos for a variety of exercises to show how they should be done.

As for this workout, I was so distracted thinking about my squats and the video that I didn’t pause my bench reps as much I’d like. I really need to pause them with lifting raw to work on my drive off of the chest. So I’ll probably repeat these weights next time.

Video 1

Video 2


Deadlifts, Week 4 of 9/ More videos

Friday – 5/11/07

Deadlifts: [55/15, 145/10, 235/6, 295/3] 325/4, 330/4

SLDLs: [165/6, 220/3] 255/4, 260/4

Jump Deadlifts: [45/6] 85/4, 80/4, 80/4

Crunch/ Reverse Crunch Combo: 10/30, 10/25

Stretching: ~ 10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:17

I had trouble figuring out where to put my camera. The best spot for DLs would be in front of the platform, but in front of my platform is a cabinet. So I could not set it far enough away. So I experimented with several different side angles with my warm-ups and a couple of different angles for my work sets. The last, the same location as I used for benches, will have to do.

That said, a good workout. Any comments on my form would be more than appreciated. The same goes for my bench videos I posted yesterday.

Video 1

Video 2


Bench Assistance, Week 4 of 9

Monday – 5/14/07

Standing Overhead Press: [DBs: 10s/15, BB: 45/10, 60/6, 70/3] 80/6, 85/6

DB Incline Bench: [30s/6, 40s/3] 47s/6, 47s/6

DB Rows (underhand grip): [25s/8, 35s/], 42s/6, 42s/6

Reverse BB Curls: [45/8] 50/10, 50/10

Rotator Cuff (2 exercises): [7.5/10] 10/12, 10/12

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:14

Week Five

Squats, Week 5 of 9

Wednesday – 5/16/07

Squats: [55/15, 145/8] 195/8, 215/8, 235/8, 255/6

Sting Ray (front) Squats: [55/6] 95/6, 115/6, 125/6

Speed RB Squats: 195/6, 195/6

Bicycle Abs (reps to each side): 20, 20

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:29

I was planning on using two short cycles to prepare for my next contest, doing max lifts at the end of the first cycle, then cycling down and back up again to peak for the contest. I’m still going to follow that plan for benches and deadlifts, but for squats I am completely revamping my training.

I had been squatting with gear and rather high, as seem in the videos for my last squat workout post. Now I will be lifting raw and squatting to a box to be sure I am hitting appropriate depth. As Donna said in the thread for that workout, squatting high and squatting to legal depth are two different lifts. The same could be said for raw versus geared squats. I am also working on my form, trying to sit back more and widening my stance some. With all the changes, I feel like I am starting over.

I should get in 13 training weeks before my next contest. To keep things from getting confusing, I’ll still count the weeks the same. But on squats, I was going to start with sets of eight, but after a couple of sets in this workout, it reminded me why I hate doing sets of eight. So I’ll probably go with sets of six for a few weeks.

For this workout, I had no idea how much weight to use. So I started light and worked up. The video below is for my set of 235/8. I forgot to start the camera for my final set. But looking at this set, I’m not so sure now on the depth. On a couple of the reps, I think I didn’t touch the box, but on the rest I did. And those still look high.

Video 1

This was the workout day when I was doing reverse band squats. But I really need to work on my bottom end strength. I also need to work on sitting back into the lift more, so Sting Ray (front) Squats will be a better assistance exercise to do at this point. But I will still use the reverse bands for speed work.

Video 2

I took this video from a different angle as I wanted to show the use of the Sting Ray to post on my site. But still, it looks like I am going deeper here than on the squats. But for both, I am hitting the same box! I am sitting back better with the front squats and using a closer stance.

So now I’m really confused. Maybe rather than a wider stance, I should go back to a closer stance. In fact, maybe it was widening my stance over the past year that has caused me to be squatting higher. Comparing pics from my contests last April and September, I was using a closer stance for the former and a wider for the latter. Since I went raw for the first and with gear for the second, it is hard to say which worked better for me.

But looking at the pic from the latter, it looks like I was sitting back better. But that could be because I was using gear. Also note that I was wrong on my earlier comments about my depth at this contest. On this attempt at least, it looks pretty good to me. Counting the weights, I think this was my second attempt with 400.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Now I am really confused. Comments please!


Benches, Week 5 of 9

Friday – 5/18/07

Benches: [55/15, 95/10, 125/6, 145/3] 165/4, 165/4

Reverse Band Benches (#3, light bands): [135/6, 170/3] 190/5, 200/4

Speed RB Benches: [120/6] 135/6, 135/6

Lat. Pulldowns (wide grip): [45/8, 75/4] 90/10, 90/10

DB Curls: [22s/8] 27s/8, 27s/8

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:23

Wasting time and getting distracted taking videos again. A couple of the videos did not come out for some reason that I cannot figure out. But I did figure out how to crop some of the “extra” stuff at the beginning and end. So the files sizes and length are a little shorter.

But despite the distractions, a good workout. I remembered to “pinch” my shoulder blades together and pause all my bench sets. The video below is my second bench work set.

Video 1

The next video is my second set of reverse band benches. I took this from a wider angle to show the set up for the bands to post on my site. The light washed out some of the view, but it’s still not too bad of quality.

Video 2

The final video is of my homemade lat pulldown. Unfortunately, the light washed out the upper part showing how I have the pulleys hooked into the rafters. But I have a pic showing that on my site.

Video 3

Picture 1

Note on music. Usually I listened to Christian rock, but this time I put together a “Like Ozzy Osborne” play list with Yahoo Music. So the music is definitely not Christian, but great workout music.


Deadlifts, Week 5 of 9

Monday – 5/21/07

Deadlifts: [55/15, 145/10, 235/5, 300/3] 335/4, 335/4

Chain DLs (set-up weighs 90 pounds): [145/6, 195/3] 220/6, 240/5

Speed Chain DLs: 145/6, 145/6

Dip Bar Leg Raises: 20, 15

Stretching: ~ 10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:27

The work sets on DLs went as planned. One small problem though. On my last rep, my left heel slipped inwards just as I pulled the weight off the floor. I was able to complete the rep, but barely. Unfortunately, I wasn’t recording the set, so I’m not sure what happened. But it just goes to show how vitally important form is when a minor misstep can almost cause a missed rep.

The chain DLs went better than expected. They were supposed to be sets of four as well, but the first set was so easy I did a couple of extra reps. I increased the weights for the second set and still got an extra rep. But no matter, I’ll just have to increase the weights that much more next time.

The video below is of my second set. It is a close-up of one side as I wanted to show the chain set up to post on my site.

Video 1

The video below is my second set of speed chain DLs. I took a wider view here as I had a question. As can be seen, I am pausing the weights at the floor and resetting on each rep as I do for regular DLs. I am doing so in a quicker fashion, but I am wondering if I would be better off doing them in a touch ‘n go fashion off of the floor? That would give me better speed, but my concern is that it would throw off my form.

Video 2


Bench Assistance, Week 5 of 9

Wednesday – 5/23/07

Incline Bench: [45/15, 75/10, 100/6, 125/3] 140/4, 140/4

DB Presses: [10s/8, 25s/3] 32s/6, 35s/4

DB Rows (elbows out): [35/8, 50/3], 60/4, 60/4

Reverse DB Curls: [20s/8] 27s/8, 27s/8

Rotator Cuff (2 exercises) [7.5/10] 12/6, 12/6

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:14

These workout logs are continued at Full Workout Logs: Starting 5/25/07: Basic Cycle; Weeks 6-9 of 9.

Full Workout Logs: Starting 4/8/07: Basic Cycle - Weeks 1-5 of 9. Copyright 2007 by Gary F. Zeolla.

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